A more in-depth analysis on all things body safety, boundaries, consent and current events.
“CONTENT WARNING” AND “TRIGGER WARNING.”
Erin Merryn joins me to talk about Erin's Law that mandates schools to provide body safety education for grades K-12 in the United States. 38 states have passed the law and in this episode we talk about why she became a champion for schools to teach this education and what the results have been since passing the law in those states. She shares her own personal story of survival, and leadership.
2:30 What Is Erin's Law
7:10 Erin's Story of Abuse
9:33 Erin's diary as an outlet for anger
14:13 When predators are getting away with abusing one child
16:45 Children's advocacy centers
23:20 What did his sister do?
30:14 Erin's Law in Ohio
33:26 What's the fear of Planned Parenthood
38:16 What can parents do to advocate for this law
41:18 The importance of writing a letter to your legislator
46:53 Principals' lunch buddies program
49:56 If the law is not passed, this is what needs to be talked about in...
One of the most essential safety skills your child should learn is the difference between secrets, privacy, and surprises. I mean, have you ever thought about it? Do you even know the difference? And more importantly, do your kids?
When I had my first child, I used to think I knew the difference, but it turns out I didn't. And that's okay because it's never too late to learn and educate ourselves as parents. Here's a little story to illustrate my point.
So, I have three kiddos, and when my oldest was potty training, I read somewhere that giving them a little treat, like a chocolate chip, every time they successfully used the potty could be a good idea. And let me tell you, it worked like a charm! But, of course, I didn't want the other two to feel left out or start asking for treats too. So, I told my child that we had to keep it a secret between us so that no one else would know about the chocolate chips.
Looking back, I realized that was a big mistake. Secrets...
How would your parents have reacted if you had asked them this question? Maybe something like 'Why the heck are you asking about that?', or 'Where did you hear that dirty phrase?' or "Don't be asking about things like that?" in either angry, panicked, or shameful tones!
When I was a kid/tween or teen, I knew that asking my mom ANYTHING that had to do with S.E.X. was OFF THE TABLE. No, sir, was I going to raise my mom's wrath!
And also, I figured she might not even know because she NEVER talked about sex.
But I knew, from the start of having kids, that I didn't want to be that way. I knew that I wanted to raise my kids in a sex-positive home that was safe and trustworthy.
That's easy on paper.
It's a nice picture in my head.
The reality (once I had kids) is that it felt scary AF (if I'm being honest).
Fortunately, I've had experts like Melissa Carnagey of Sex Positive Families and Amy Lang of Birds Bees...
A concerned mother direct messaged me on Instagram a few days ago, saying this:
I have been working on setting boundaries re:consent/abuse prevention for a while now and recently tried to set a boundary with family members asking that they consult with us before purchasing gifts for our kids.
My MIL had a very strong reaction to this request and had tried to pushback ever since.
I’ve had people tell me I’m being rude for asking this of my family members but in my mind this is a way to prevent manipulation tactics and model what safe adults look like for our kids.
Am I being unreasonable? Is there anything you’d suggest with regards to how I could explain this boundary better for family members and friends who may be having a hard time with it?”
Here’s what I answered:
First, I praised her for setting the boundary. For one, it’s her child and her...
In U.S. law, there is a clear distinction between 1st-degree murder, 2nd-degree murder, and manslaughter.
You can also say that they are all the same thing because someone was killed in all those situations.
This is how many are currently using the word grooming- as if it encapsulates many cultural issues today.
The main distinction between 1st-degree murder, 2nd-degree murder, and manslaughter is their intent.
In law, the intent is everything.
Same with grooming and why defining this clearly is so important.
If we don't have a clear definition, we can call everything grooming.
The broad term 'grooming' means to 'prepare someone for something'. But if you are going to say that children are being sexually groomed, then we must be specific about how that word is being applied.
My issue is that child sexual grooming means a very specific thing, but the term #groomer is being applied very broadly. The word grooming loses its...
For many parents, the end of the calendar year is full of celebration for the holidays, but shortly after is the beginning of a new school year! Usually, this is for parents of young children who are entering school for the very first time.
Understandably, many parents trust schools to be safe spaces. That is what is sold to parents as the 'tradition' that is school.
But how exactly can you be so sure? How can we make sure that schools are following proper safety policies and procedures, and who determines those policies and procedures?
I know as a mom of three, having children in the school system, that I have received the school handbook, which typically has a short section on child safety.
Some schools have a separate child safety handbook, but it's still full of basics that are mostly, so parents have information about what's expected of their child and what the school rules are.
It doesn't typically go in depth about how they make sure that staff are safe persons (we assume the...
This can be LOTS of fun for little ones, but it's also a great opportunity to educate the adults in your child's life about "Secrets Safety".
Here's a letter you can send to your schools principal and/or teacher.
I recommend BOTH.
And here's what you can say:
Hi [Principal's Name],
My name is Rosalia and I'm a survivor of childhood sexual violence.
I started this petition with 8 other survivors from the Brave Movement.
We are 9 survivors of childhood sexual violence from G7 countries and beyond. We are urgently calling on leaders of the world’s richest countries to take bold and transformative action when they meet in June to end childhood sexual violence -- so that what happened to us never happens to another child.
Childhood sexual violence is a global scourge, which at least one in five girls and one in ten boys experience. It has devastating long-term consequences for children, families, and societies. And the COVID pandemic has exposed children to even greater risk.
Childhood sexual violence is happening now, in silence, in every nation. In family homes, sports, schools, and places of worship. Also across borders, in the form of online abuse,...